- neatly or effectively concise; brief and pithy, as language.
- abruptly concise; curt; brusque.
Origin of terse
Examples from the Web for tersely
Biden “is a very decent guy, is capable and bright [and] qualified,” Panetta said tersely.Panetta Criticizes Obama’s Syrian ‘Red Line’ Screw-Up, and Other Failures of Leadership
October 8, 2014
We have a daughter,” she told him tersely, “and she is hungry.
"I need to speak to my aunt," I said tersely, not wanting to speak to Zardari.My Father's Assassination
October 1, 2010
"Now stop this nerve strain and this foolishness," he said tersely.Her Father's Daughter
"That I have the jewels," he told her tersely, looking straight ahead.The Black Bag
Louis Joseph Vance
As Susan so tersely expressed it, they would "canvass the nation for freedom."
"Not lack of brains, but lack of money," she tersely replied.
The conditions of a well bound book may be tersely enumerated.The Library
- neatly brief and concise
- curt; abrupt
Word Origin and History for tersely
1590s (implied in tersely), "clean-cut, burnished, neat," from French ters "clean," from Latin tersus "wiped off, clean, neat," from past participle of tergere "to rub, polish, wipe." Sense of "concise or pithy in style or language" is from 1777, which led to a general sense of "neatly concise." The pejorative meaning "brusque" is a fairly recent development. Related: Terseness.